in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Bougainvillea: Bougainvillea species

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Form: A cascading or climbing vine comprising several species and hybrids, including B. spectabilis, B. glabra and B. peruviana.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen in zones 9b-12. Damaged by freezing temperatures.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid depending on variety and water.
Mature Size: 20-40' long depending on species.
Flowers: Small, yellow-white, waxy tubes surrounded by three 1-2" long, colorful, papery bracts. Brachs come in many colors, including bright red, pink, purple and white.
Bloom: Fall through spring in zones 9b-12, spring through fall in zones 8b-9a.
Fruit: Insignificant.
Leaves: Ovate to elliptical, green.
Stems: Normally thorny; some recent varieties are nearly thornless.
Roots: Container plants have weak, fragile root system.
Wildlife: Used as habitat.
Toxic / Danger: Thorns. Thorn pricks can cause dermatitis.
Origin: South America.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8b-12. Damaged below 32°F. In zone 8b, in winter, must be in container moved indoors or next to south-facing wall where it will die to ground and revive in spring.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Drought resistant.
Sun: Full sun.
Water once established: Every two weeks after first year. Soil must dry out between waterings. Excess water will reduce flowering.
Soil: Well drained, pH 5.6-6.0 (acidic). Adaptable, but enriched soil beneficial. High nitrogen fertilizer will reduce flowering.
Mulch: Heavily in fall in regions with winter freezes.
Planting: When planting, handle root ball with great care to keep it intact. Roots are very thin and do not hold soil together. After planting, water roots thoroughly, adding a root stimulator. Use flower fertilizer every two months until end of growing season. During the first year in ground, water regularly until winter, then keep almost dry. Bougainvillea can be grown in pots.
Prune: In early spring, remove frost damage. Trim all branches back to 20' for best bloom.
Litter: High. Bract and leaf cleanup, pruning, training.
Propagation: Cuttings and layering.
Uses: Ornamental.

A member of the Four O'clock family.

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Bougainvillea: Bougainvillea - flowers